Detroit's sustainability agenda launches

PLUS: More recycling, more money for water and sewer upgrades

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Detroit | Sustainability agenda, DTE plan open for comment, new water pipes, Jobbie Nooner ‘disaster’

Detroit’s sustainability agenda | Detroit now has 43 action items to make it a greener, more equitable, healthy, and connected city. The actions are part of a 55-page plan produced by the city of Detroit’s Office of Sustainability and released last week. The plan identifies the city’s main threats to sustainability as public health, unemployment and income insecurity, poor and unaffordable housing, blight, aging infrastructure and pollution, and climate change.

The 43 actions are organized under four goals: 1) Healthy, thriving people 2) Affordable, quality homes, 3) Clean, connected neighborhoods, and 4) Equitable, green city. Action items are assigned two time frames for implementation (Near; 0-2 years and Mid; 3-6 years.) For example, under the “Equitable, green city” goal , action # 39, “Develop a greenhouse gas assessment and climate action strategy” is targeted for completion within 0-2 years.

The Office of Sustainability undertook an intensive digital engagement process to create the plan, It also held four town halls among other efforts.

You can download the full plan here>>>

Sources: City of Detroit, Next City

Expanded recycling comes to Detroit | Also announced on Friday was the "largest expansion of recycling in Detroit's history.” According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Office of Sustainability Director Joel Howrani Heeres said the city’s goal is to increase the diversion rate of municipal solid waste from 4.5 percent to 15 percent in four years and 30 percent in 10 years.

The announcement comes at a time when Michigan municipalities are shuttering their recycling programs due to diminishing downstream markets. Michigan Congresswoman Haley Stevens is pushing for a spending package to strengthen recycling in the United States.

Sources: Crain’s Detroit Business, Bridge Magazine

Money for water, sewer pipes | Detroit has not meaningfully upgraded its water and sewer system since the Great Depression; one of every four pipes needs to be replaced or rehabbed. It could take decades to get to all of them. The city will use a data-driven approach to replace the most fragile pipes first, and will also start replacing lead service lines, which can corrode and contaminate drinking water. The city has 20 years to replace all lead service lines under a new state rule passed in response to the Flint Water crisis. The project will cost $5 million.

Source: Detroit News, State of Michigan

High water | The Jobbie Nooner was cut short on Friday as storms put a damper on Lake St. Clair’s annual day of floating debauchery, causing chaos as boaters tried to flee the area all at once. Twenty boaters were sent to the hospital. The medical response was about on par with other years, the Coast Guard told the Detroit News.

Sources: Click On Detroit, Detroit News

Best tweet on fishflies | With the annual hatch underway, this Twitter user demarcates the geography of the invasion.

Source: Detroit Free Press

DTE plan open for comment | Last week Planet Detroit brought you this original report from a Detroit public forum on DTE Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan. You can still review and file a comment on the plan (CaseU-20471) online.

Michigan | Climate and health collide, Flint prosecutors address community, new lead rule may flag water systems

Climate crisis, health crisis | Suicide prevention cards were handed out at a Lenawee County meeting for Michigan farmers affected by the wet spring. Meanwhile, 74 medical and public health organizations signed on to a consensus calling climate change a “health emergency.”

Sources: Bridge Magazine, Detroit News

Flint | The prosecutors who dropped charges in the Flint Water case explained themselves to Flint residents at a town hall on Friday, meeting with frustration and anger. Meanwhile a social media “backlash” ensued after Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government awarded a research fellowship to former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. #NoSnyderFellowship was the hashtag on Twitter.

Source: New York Times, Michigan Radio, Detroit Free Press

Lead | More water systems could start exceeding lead limits according to new testing protocols under Michigan’s Lead and Copper Rule passed after the Flint water crisis. The state launched MI Lead Safe on Wednesday, a new website that will provide access to water test results and offer education about lead pollution.

Source: Detroit Free Press

See | Insta-photo pick

Thanks to @ellen313 for this shot of a REALLY BIG OAK TREE.

Poll | Climate what?

We completed our first Planet Detroit Twitter poll last week. And the winner is…

Connect | Engage with Detroit’s environment

Have an opportunity you’d like to see featured here? Let us know.

July 6 | Tour native residential landscapes | Novi >>>

July 6 | Trash Fishing Round # 4 | Detroit River >>>

July 18 | Learn how to plant a butterfly garden | Mount Clemens >>>

June 19 | Detroit Board of Water Commissioners Meeting | Detroit >>>

June 19 | Detroit Historical Canals Tours | Detroit >>>

June 20 | Thursday Night Market | Detroit’s Eastern Market >>>

June 20 | Shimmer on the River | Detroit >>>

July 13 | PalmerWoods Home & Garden Tour | Palmer Woods >>>

July 14 | Detroit Kite Festival | Belle Isle >>>

July 20 | Native bee walk & talk | Detroit >>>

June 22 | Bee blitz | Detroit >>>

June 23 | Detroit Riverfront Past, Present & Future Walking Tour | Detroit Riverfront >>>

July 10 | Earthwork Music festival | Dequindre Cut >>>

July 13 | Eco-Eating Tour: Burnside Farm | Detroit >>>

July 13 | Ecological Lullaby of the Rouge | Rouge Park >>>

July 19 | Elmwood Cemetery Bird Walk | Detroit >>>

July 24 | Learn about invasive species management | Detroit >>>

July 27 | Mushroom Walk | Royal Oak >>>

August 4 | Rouge Park Annual Butterfly Walk | Detroit >>>

August 8 | Gardens of Detroit Bus Tour | Detroit >>>

August 10 | Beekeeping Basics | Detroit >>>

August 28 | Urban agriculture bike tour | Detroit >>>

September 7 | Native Plant Sale, North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy | Clarkston >>>

September 8 | Make Food Not Waste | Eastern Market >>>

September 10 | The 13th Annual Garden Party on Belle Isle | Belle Isle >>>

Thanks for reading!